You are thinking that you and other entrepreneurs you know have never developed a business plan and you are doing "ok" -- right?
How To Develop A Strategic Plan for a Business To many people, strategic planning is something meant only for big businesses, but it is equally applicable to small businesses.
Strategic planning is matching the strengths of your business to available opportunities. To do this effectively, you need to collect, screen and analyze information about the business environment. You also need to have a clear understanding of your business - its strength's and weaknesses - and develop a clear mission, goals and objectives.
Acquiring this understanding often involves more work than expected. You must realistically assess the business you are convinced you know well.
Familiarity can breed contempt for thorough analysis; you cannot properly evaluate your firm's strengths or shortcomings.
The Business Environment Strategic planning focuses largely on managing interaction with environmental forces, which include competitors, government, suppliers, customers, various interest groups and other factors that affect your business and its prospects.
Your ability as a small business owner-manager to deal with these groups will vary widely depending on the group and on the timing. Also, you may be able to get more of what you want from a supplier than from a competitor although size, distance, the percentage of the supplier's business you represent and your record of dependability as a customer can affect this relationship.
How you manage these and other relationships is one of the decisions you will make during the strategic planning process. Because of major changes in the business environment, your familiarity with strategic planning and your ability to implement it is critical. At one time, business owner-managers assessed the environment on a continuum that ran between very stable and very unstable.
Businesses, such as the producers of automobiles, furniture and other consumer goods, operated in a relatively stable and predictable world. This also was true of many service firms, such as banks and savings and loans. Typically, the environment included competition that was limited to a stable group of competitors, loyal customers and a relatively slow transfer of information.
Many small businesses could thrive in this environment.
Other small investors entered fields such as xerography, computers and computer component production, software design and chemical research. Some of these grew rapidly, becoming names with which we all are familiar: But many more failed.
Today, experts agree that more businesses face an unstable business environment. Improvements in information processing and telecommunications have made major changes in most industries. Along with this, improvements in transportation and the growth of foreign economies specifically in Europe and Asia have created a global marketplace and redefined certain industries.
In addition, as consumers are exposed to more choices, loyalty has become less important than it once was; a slightly better deal or a temporary shortage of stock can easily result in the loss of customers.
Competitors also can change rapidly, with new ones appearing from out of nowhere often this means the other side of the globe. With the instability of the global market, it is important that you make strategic planning part of your overall business strategy.
Proactive Versus Reactive Management A few years ago, you could establish and maintain a business by reacting to and meeting changes in tastes, costs and prices. This reactive style of management was often enough to keep the business going. However, today changes happen fast and come from many directions.
By the time a reactive manager can make the necessary adjustments, he or she may lose many customers -- possibly for good. Proactive planning is the anticipation of future events. Decisions are based on predictions of future states of the environment as opposed to reactions to various crises as they occur.
Proactive planning in an unstable, technology-driven business environment is critical to continuing success in almost any endeavor. Rather than reacting to the situation as it changes, proactive planning requires that you analyze environmental forces and make resource-allocation decisions. By doing this you will take your business where it needs to be in the next month, year and decade.
Barry Worth, a consultant specializing in small business management, puts it this way: Today's entrepreneur must be a business architect. Anything built in today's business environment must have a step-by-step blueprint or plan on how to achieve success.
The blueprint for today's business owner is a business plan. It can make the difference between the success or failure of your business.It is important for a business that wants to make impact and be successful to have a business plan.
A business plan is an internal document of a business that is seen by only a few; the business owner, investors and few employees. Do not attempt to fix or update your business security system on your own. Authorized professionals should conduct all major repairs and maintenance services.
Security device repair requires training, experience and technical savvy. Choose a Style. There are many options available when deciding how to cite sources in a business plan. The three most common academic citation styles are APA, MLA and Chicago. Every great business begins with a plan.
And while that plan will evolve over time, this initial document will serve as your guide over the next years. Click to view a collection of short articles on creating your own business plan.
A business budget will make room so you can afford the things you need to grow. I know that many people experience the same challenges. In an effort to help others, I’m sharing my 5-step plan to creating a balanced business budget. When designed properly, your plan becomes the bridge between your situation today and your financial dreams for tomorrow.
When that plan is .